Coming of Age (BBC TV series)
|Coming of Age|
Title card (2010)
|Created by||Tim Dawson|
|Written by||Tim Dawson|
|Directed by||Ed Bye
|Theme music composer||KateGoes|
|Opening theme||"Coming of Age"|
|Ending theme||"Coming of Age"|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||23 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Jo Sargent|
|Running time||30 mins.|
|Original network||BBC Three
|Picture format||576i (16:9 SDTV) (pilot)
1080i (16:9 HDTV) (series 1-3)
|Audio format||Stereo (pilot)
Dolby Digital 5.1 (series 1-3)
|Original release||21 May 2007– 8 March 2011|
Coming of Age was a British situation comedy, written by Tim Dawson, produced in house by BBC Productions, and broadcast on the former channel BBC Three. The show took a direct look at five sixth form students, Jas, Ollie, Matt, Chloe and DK, as well as, from series three, new character Robyn Crisp, who are living in Abingdon. Their lives rotate around the fictional Wooton College, their bedrooms, and Ollie's garden shed. A pilot originally aired in 2007, followed by the first series in 2008, a second series in 2010, and a third beginning in January 2011. In 2011, the show was cancelled along with other long running BBC Three programmes including Ideal, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Hotter Than My Daughter, and Doctor Who Confidential. The first series was released on DVD on 26 October 2009, however, no further series have been released on DVD.
Coming of Age is set in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Although the show consists of scenes recorded on location and pre-recorded studio scenes, most of the show is recorded in front of a live studio audience at BBC Television Centre, White City, London. Wooton College external shots were filmed at Abingdon and Witney college, Abingdon Campus.
The Coming of Age production team joined forces with BBC Introducing, a BBC-wide project that supports unsigned, undiscovered and under-the-radar artists and DJs, to find the original theme tune and sound for the show. They held a competition for six up-and-coming artists including KateGoes, to write a theme tune for the show from a written specification. KateGoes won and the theme was recorded in the studio of Richie Webb whose credits include That Mitchell and Webb Look and Comedy Shuffle, to create the final theme tune for the show.
|Actor||Character||Duration||No. of series||Episodes|
|Tony Bignell||Matthew "Matt" Cobbett||Pilot, 1–3||3||23|
|Joe Tracini||Darren "DK" Karrimore||Pilot, 1–3||3||23|
|Hannah Job||Jasmine "Jas" Brown||1–3||3||22|
|Ceri Phillips||Oliver "Ollie" Sinclair||1–3||3||22|
|Anabel Barnston||Chloe "Clo" Wheeler||1–3||3||22|
|Ellen Thomas||Jane Reed||1–3||3||19|
|Matthew Earley||Wilberforce De Wilde||2–3||2||11|
|Minnie Crowe||Robyn "Rob" Crisp||3||1||8|
|Alex Kew||Oliver "Ollie" Sinclair||Pilot||Pilot||1|
|Amy Yamazaki||Jasmine "Jas" Brown||Pilot||Pilot||1|
|Dani Harmer||Chloe "Clo" Wheeler||Pilot||Pilot||1|
Twenty-three episodes of Coming of Age were broadcast over the course of three series. There are number of differences between the pilot and the subsequent series. Most notably, Alex Kew and Amy Yamazaki, who played Ollie and Jas in the pilot, have been replaced by Ceri Phillips and Hannah Job. Also, Dani Harmer originally played Chloe, but was replaced by Anabel Barnston. As well as new sets, the theme tune also changed, from "Steady, As She Goes" by The Raconteurs to a specially written piece by Birmingham band KateGoes and Richie Webb.
|1||"Pilot"||Tim Dawson||David Sant||21 May 2007|
|Matt's dreams come true when his best friend Chloe gives him an unexpected night-time treat. Jas tries a new technique with her piccolo to persuade boyfriend Ollie to tell his mum about their relationship. When DK gets arrested for drink-driving, he learns it's better to spit than to swallow.|
Series One (2008)
|1||"B... lowjob"||Tim Dawson||David Sant||30 September 2008|
|DK fancies fat girl Sky, but will his unusual seduction techniques – a mix of chocolate, rap and breakdancing – succeed in getting her into bed, or will he have to resort to wooing her with pies? Meanwhile, it's essay time. When Matt steals Chloe's essay to make sure he gets a good grade, he seriously annoys her. Jas tries to get her grade improved by flirting with teacher Simon Dixon, but her boyfriend, Ollie, becomes madly jealous. He decides to teach Jas a lesson by going off with Sky. Furious and hurt, Jas and Chloe take revenge on the boys for their bad behaviour by giving them a swimming lesson they'll never forget.|
|2||"Dick and Fanny"||Tim Dawson||David Sant||7 October 2008|
|Matt and Chloe are in the school play together, and have to kiss. Chloe is excited, but Matt's nerves get the better of him: he just can't kiss Chloe. She undergoes a sexy makeover to entice Matt, but when this has no effect on him she concludes he must be gay. His mates Ollie and DK are not convinced, and give Matt a practical lesson in the art of snogging. Will Matt now find the courage to kiss Chloe live on stage? Ollie has his mobile phone stolen by a little girl, and the shame affects his sex drive. When Jas' array of sexual techniques have no effect on Ollie's manhood, she takes drastic action to stiffen Ollie's resolve, involving viagra and a Jack Daniels bottle. DK is desperate to buy his dream moped as it will guarantee him loads of sex. With no job prospects, DK decides there's only one way to earn the cash – doing dangerous stunts for money.|
|3||"I Suck Coppers"||Tim Dawson||David Sant||14 October 2008|
|Driving home from an impromptu party in Chloe's bedroom, DK gets pulled over by a policeman. He tries to avoid being done for drink-driving by swallowing a load of copper coins. When bits of his body start going green, DK is delighted. At last he's got something truly special to show the girls. Chloe finally agrees she will go out with Matt, but only if he starts eating a healthy diet. As Matt hates vegetables, Chloe comes up with a foolproof test to make sure that Matt is eating his greens by examining his poo. Now Matt must eat some vegetables or find an ingenious method of passing Chloe's exam. When Jas gets the chance to fulfil her dreams of going to London to star in the Rocky Horror Show, Ollie is really worried. How will they survive without each other and without all the sex? Jas finds a surprising way to make certain that Ollie won't miss her.|
|4||"We Have Been Naughty Haven't We?"||Tim Dawson||David Sant||21 October 2008|
|To impress DK, Ollie films Jas naked in the shower and sends him the clip. When DK promptly forwards the clip to the whole college, Jas is furious and dumps Ollie. Matt is desperate to lose his virginity but, when he tries to move his relationship with Chloe too far too fast, she can't cope and dumps him. Matt sees the film of Jas naked and falls madly in lust with her. Jas seizes her opportunity to get back at Ollie. She offers Matt what he desperately wants: pity sex. Ollie is outraged. He decides there's only one effective way to get revenge on Jas and Matt: to make them even more jealous of him than he is of them by seducing Chloe. Meanwhile, DK has teacher trouble. The Principal has found a tough new geography teacher, Andy, who is determined to stop DK mucking about in class. So DK resolves to get Andy sacked. His plan? To pull an outrageous stunt involving a high window, Ollie, and a bottle of ketchup.|
|5||"Up the Botty"||Tim Dawson||David Sant||28 October 2008|
|Jas is desperate to experiment sexually, in Ollie's mother's bed, while she is out at work. Ollie reluctantly agrees, but Jas has an embarrassing accident and Ollie's mum returns unexpectedly early. When DK drives one of his teachers mad with his bad behaviour in class, the principal forces him to see an educational psychologist. DK is reluctant, until the psychologist turns out to be highly attractive. DK reasons that if he wants to keep seeing the psychologist then his bad behaviour has got to get worse. Chloe decides to get back to being non-sexual friends with Matt by behaving more like a child. But the harder Chloe tries to be innocent, the more Matt gets turned on.|
|6||"Pussy Boy"||Tim Dawson||David Sant||4 November 2008|
|Chloe decides she is ready to have sex with Matt at last, just as long as her parents approve. Luckily for Matt they do, but when Chloe and Matt finally start to get it together they discover that Chloe's parents want to give them some hands-on assistance as well as approval. Jas has a visit from a Russian exchange student. To Ollie's horror, Staz is good-looking, glamorous and fun. With Jas developing a crush on Staz, Ollie has to prove he can be just as exciting a boyfriend as the Russian. DK reveals he has few friends, but can do amazing tricks. At Chloe and Jas's suggestion, he sets out to use his incredible talent to make new friends, but DK's magic has a tendency to go disastrously wrong.|
Comic Relief Special (2009)
|1||"When Janet Met Michelle"||Tim Dawson & Susan Nickson||Nick Wood||8 March 2009|
|Jas, Ollie, DK, Matt and Chloe attend Timothy Claypole's Comic Relief fun night of fun fundraiser at a local pub, where the events consist of a "bitch-off"; a "drink-off"; and a "flirt-off." However, events soon turn sour when the "bitch-off" discovers more than it bargained for, and the cardboard cutout of Jeremy Clarkson has a fright. Also includes the cast of Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and Grownups.|
Series Two (2010)
|1||"Rudies"||Tim Dawson||Nick Wood||12 January 2010|
|Chloe finally loses her virginity to Matt, who spreads the good news ... via Facebook, Myspace, Bebo and the school newsletter. Though he may have earned the admiration of the guys on campus, Chloe is horrified and demands that her virginity be restored, causing Matt to come up with some creative solutions. Meanwhile, DK, as ever, is rapping, this time with the help of Dinky DK – a pint-sized ventriloquist's doll he has made which behaves even worse than he does, causing the principal to quell a revolution amongst her college staff. Jas struggles to help Ollie overcome his fear of needles after an unfortunate accident and, as usual, havoc reigns across the lives of the five pupils of Wooton College.|
|2||"Who Killed Alec the Dwarf?"||Tim Dawson||Nick Wood||19 January 2010|
|As part of their general studies course, the principal has bought the college a local radio licence so the gang decides to do a radio play. Ollie discovers his creative streak as both playwright and director, being the self-proclaimed most talented person in the group. Following some less-than-spectacular auditions, Ollie succumbs to the temptations of the casting couch and gives Jas the lead role, much to Chloe's chagrin. There's an awe-inspiring homage to Murder She Wrote as the gang lurch into a disastrous performance of the radio play complete with long pauses, dodgy accents and the worst sound effects ever and things go from bad to worse when DK is let loose on the microphone.|
|3||"French Rs"||Tim Dawson||Nick Wood||26 January 2010|
|The arrival of the new French teacher, Mademoiselle Duquette, causes a stir and Ollie becomes obsessed by her, launching an all-out charm offensive to the exclusion of a chagrined Jas. Meanwhile, DK, on a mission to pay back the school fine he incurred for his radio show antics, embarks on a new career as a nude, life-drawing model. His debut is less than stellar and, against her better judgement, the principal allows him to make a second attempt, which proves little short of shambolic. Chloe and Matt try to spice up their sex life by experimenting with some slightly specialist techniques and props, and, perturbed by Ollie's overtures to Mademoiselle Duquette, Jas retaliates – with disastrous consequences.|
|4||"Black Eye"||Tim Dawson||Nick Wood||2 February 2010|
|In the wake of Jas's recent infidelity, the circle of those who know about it grows steadily wider, and DK's ability to keep it a secret grows steadily worse. Jas finds herself being blackmailed to continue relations with Horace in order to keep her indiscretion under wraps. DK, unable to keep a secret but also unwilling to see his friends break up, works with Chloe to devise a cunning plan. Ollie remains blissfully unaware of the situation and the friends work hard to keep it that way.|
|5||"Lederhosen Hero"||Tim Dawson||Nick Wood||9 February 2010|
|DK is plagued by dreams of the principal and becomes worried that she may have more than just a passing professional interest in him. Jas, meanwhile, sets out to rebuild her relationship with Ollie by finding a common interest away from sex. After being refused entry to the cinema for looking too young, Chloe and Matt concoct a variety of ludicrous strategies to get themselves in.|
|6||"Doreen"||Tim Dawson||Nick Wood||16 February 2010|
|Ollie is reeling from Jas's unplanned disclosure that she's been unfaithful to him. Meanwhile, the principal is determined to put DK to good work after his recent antics by sending him to do community service with the elderly. There, DK forms an unlikely alliance with Doreen and finds that appearances can be deceiving. Meanwhile, Jas and Ollie's feud is threatening to tear the group apart, so Matt and Chloe come up with a novel solution. And as DK's bond with Doreen grows, so does the amount of trouble he finds himself in. Guest-starring Miriam Margolyes as Doreen.|
|7||"Monster"||Tim Dawson||Nick Wood||23 February 2010|
|Ollie has chest pains which he thinks are the result of his split with Jas. The principal is replaced by the monstrous Captain Gannet. Chloe and DK hatch a plan to restore order to Wooton College. But things start to turn out for the worst as Ollie collapses to the floor with a suspected heart attack.|
|8||"Live or Die"||Tim Dawson||Nick Wood||2 March 2010|
|After they discover Ollie has had a heart attack, the gang gathers around his hospital bed to keep vigil. Ollie, meanwhile, finds himself in purgatory where his angel takes the form of a made-over DK, who presents him with a choice of whether to live or to die. The future looks bleak: Matt ends up with no hands, DK gives up rapping and takes up Gregorian chanting, Chloe cultivates a serious caffeine addiction and – most worrying of all – Jas turns to prostitution. Angel-DK, though, isn't all he purports to be and an intervention from a divine being who looks suspiciously like the principal presents a possible third way for Ollie to find his way back to his mates.|
Series Three (2011)
|1||"Kissy Woo!"||Tim Dawson||Ed Bye||18 January 2011|
|Ollie and Jas are still separated, though not for long if Ollie has anything to do with it. Matt has made a new friend, Robyn Crisp, who he spends all his time with. However, Chloe is in for a shock when she finally meets them. How will the gang react when Matt introduces his new friend, Robyn Crisp, to them? Meanwhile, DK discovers he's a genius. This episode sees the debut of Minnie Crowe as new character Robyn Crisp.|
|2||"Badvert"||Tim Dawson||Ed Bye||25 January 2011|
|Enrolment at Wooten College is at an all-time low, so the principal decides to hold a competition for all the students to enter. They must all make an advert for the college, with a first place prize of 500 pounds. Ollie and Matt team up against Chloe and Jas, though their adverts reveal that they are not as different as they may think. DK and Robyn team up, forging a bond between the two of them. But the good times are about to be disrupted by a face from DK's past.|
|3||"My Idiot BF"||Tim Dawson||Ed Bye||1 February 2011|
|Ollie believes he may be the next big thing in the art world as he bares his bottom art, with the support of his muse, Jas. DK can't believe his luck with his dad Jim back in his life and things really starting to look up. Jim is a professional poker player and it looks like he may soon make enough to support DK and his mum. However, trouble may be afoot when he asks his trusting son for a favour. Meanwhile, Chloe starts tweeting about Matt’s idiotic behaviour, and Robyn thinks Chloe is giving Matt a harder time than he deserves.|
|4||"Robbery"||Tim Dawson||Ed Bye||8 February 2011|
|Having lost his mum's engagement ring, DK is distraught and tells the principal about everything that has happened. However, the gang are on hand to help DK get the ring back. Realising they could never raise the cash needed to buy it back, they plan to rob the local pawn shop, but they are going to need some unusual disguises. Jas and Ollie end up in jail, Matt and DK go into hiding and Robyn (who wasn't involved in the robery as she was flying a kite) and Chloe go on the run.|
|5||"Dib Dib Dib"||Tim Dawson||Ed Bye||15 February 2011|
|After much reluctance the principal finally agrees to let Mr Palmer sign DK up to his scouting group for boys. Jas is excited as she launches her modelling career and Ollie is terrified he will lose her when she jets off around the world on glamorous assignments. However, his fears are put to rest when he spots her modelling in the local shopping centre. Tensions between Matt and Chloe come to the fore as the two have to seriously consider their future together.|
|6||"Penguin"||Tim Dawson||Ed Bye||22 February 2011|
|Following Matt and Chloe's break up, Chloe is at a loss while Matt finds himself caught up in a gang who love nothing more than 'gentle humour'. Ollie's foul-mouthed Aunty Olwen has come to stay with him, much to Jas's concern. Meanwhile, DK finds a pistol while litter-picking, and wonders what to use it for.|
|7||"Lesbian Jumper"||Tim Dawson||Ed Bye||1 March 2011|
|Love is in the air as Matt develops quite a penchant for older women. Can a romance with Vera, a 70-year-old cleaner, really last? Meanwhile, DK and Robyn are off to a lesbian bar in an attempt to get Robyn into the gay dating scene, though it seems DK is more popular with the ladies than he thought. Meanwhile, Ollie commits to using alcohol to forget his troubles.|
|8||"Fear Itself"||Tim Dawson||Ed Bye||8 March 2011|
|Ollie has finally committed to giving up alcohol, much to the amazement and delight of the rest of the gang. Inspired by his brave move to conquer his fear, the gang decide that they will all support him by overcoming one of their own fears. Jas will learn to be a proper actor, Matt will learn new words, Chloe will face her fear of ghosts, Robyn takes the first steps to facing her fear of dying a virgin and DK must befriend his old enemy Mr De Wilde.|
The show proved enormously popular with its target audience from the beginning, with Series 1 enjoying an average weekly reach of 1.2 million, and each episode appearing in the top 10 requested programmes on BBC iPlayer the day following transmission. Series 2 built on this success, with the first episode premiering to 719, 000 viewers. BBC Three controller Danny Cohen (who commissioned the show) noted: "I'm delighted that Coming Of Age has been such a hit with young viewers. The writer Tim Dawson and the young cast are bright emerging stars for the BBC."  Despite this, the show often receives a poor reaction from television critics. Writing about the first episode, The Daily Telegraph's Culture magazine was negative: "Crudeness abounds... but neither wit nor charm has tagged along for the ride.". Harry Venning in The Stage stated that most of the show's humour "was unremittingly dire" and stated " I sat through Coming Of Age with the will to live seeping from my every pore, leaving me drenched in a puddle of despair. Apparently writer Tim Dawson was 19 when he wrote it, which is about six years older than I would have guessed."  Meanwhile, The Scotsman said simply: "Coming of Age may be the worst BBC sitcom yet. It is supposedly aimed at teenagers, but I refuse to believe that even the easiest-to-please teenager is happy to accept something so horribly written, horribly acted and horribly vulgar in lieu of actual humour." However, some have been more willing to acknowledge the sitcom’s appeal, with the British Comedy Guide conceding, "For its fans, it's a heightened reflection of their own experience of teenage years, with brilliantly absurd exchanges and sublime vulgarity to match."
|Release name||UK release date
|Australian release date
|North American release date
Also includes "Pilot"
|26 October 2009 ||N/A||N/A||Despite being filmed in HD
no Blu-ray release.
|Comic Relief Special||14 September 2009||N/A||N/A||Part of the Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Eighth Series DVD boxset.|
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